What Are College Search/Transition Services?
Knowing that you want to attend college is different from discovering which college is best for you and identifying the types of campus services that can enhance your academic success. For many students and parents, these questions feel daunting and make it difficult to even know where to start. Sometimes students attempt a semester or two of college, only to discover that they are unhappy, overwhelmed, or unsuccessful in their current situation.
CRG’s college search/transition services help college-bound or in-college students conduct a personalized and structured search process to make an informed “good fit” decision about this critically important transition.
Who Can Benefit from College Search/Transition Services?
Students with LD, ADHD, Asperger’s, mood disorders, or other disabilities are most likely to benefit from these services. Choosing the right college requires knowing what to ask and who to ask in order to determine if a given campus can address a student’s intellectual, career, social, and accommodation needs. Many students with these disabilities use few if any formal accommodations in high school. Living at home and following a high school curriculum often provide sufficient structure to enable a student to succeed without extended test time, notetakers, or instruction in time management and study skills. When many of these students go off to college, however, the impact of their disability suddenly grows and the need for assistance can suddenly grow, too. Is there a Writing Center on campus that can help? Does the Disability Services office have the right kind of expertise to provide individualized assistance? Does the campus health center have a pharmacy that can follow and prescribe the student’s medications? Are effective tutoring services available? Students – and families – who may find themselves asking these questions can benefit from this service.
What Types of College Search/Transition Services Are Available at CRG?
Dr. David Parker , CRG’s postsecondary disability specialist, helps students and families with these important “good fit” decisions. Dr. Parker has been a Special Education high school teacher, faculty member, and coordinator of LD/ADHD services at UNC-Chapel Hill, the University of Connecticut, and Washington University in St. Louis. The goal of college search/transition services is to empower students with the skills and information they need to find a) the right college and b) the right types of services at that college in order to thrive. Dr. Parker also helps the student become a more comfortable self-advocate. This role involves understanding one’s disability, accepting the need to ask for help, and practicing the skills for seeking out that help. Specific steps in this process include:
- Review the student’s interests and background, such as their transcript, ACT/SAT scores, any disability documentation, and/or recent use of accommodations/services (such as extra time on tests, notetakers, or reading technologies).
- Help the student and his/her family identify a short list of suitable colleges or universities for which the student is likely to qualify and that address the student’s preferences.
- Conduct guided internet searches to learn more about the services and activities on each campus that can be of interest/help to that student. Assist the student in gathering and reviewing that information. Generate remaining questions, identify people on campus who have answers, and help students prepare to meet with those campus personnel.
- Help the student and his/her family schedule meetings with key people to talk to during campus visits. Debrief with the student and parent(s) after these visits to refine the decision-making process.
- If a new or updated assessment is needed to support a student’s access to accommodations on the SAT/ACT or in college, Dr. Parker helps the family learn how to obtain such testing.
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